The Church Should Be a House of Submission

I’m continuing my break from blogging and social media, so I thought I’d share some great content from…

Tom Harper pic for blog

I’m continuing my break from blogging and social media, so I thought I’d share some great content from my friend, Tom Harper each day this week. Tom Harper is president of Networld Media Group, a publisher of online trade journals and events for the banking, retail, restaurant and church leadership markets (including the mega-blog He is the author of Leading from the Lions’ Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H).

Last week I was honored to speak at the TurnAround20/20 Conference in Nashville, TN, where I got to meet Tom in person. He graciously offered to provide blog posts for me so I could finish my rest from technology. So enjoy! Here’s Tom’s first blog for this week:


In Ephesians chapter five, Paul explains that marriage is a mysterious relationship of submission.

In verse 22 he says, Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.


23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.

Allow me to apply this to church leadership:

  • Christ is the head of the church, therefore it must submit to him; not to the power players in control
  • Christ gave himself up for the church to make her blameless, holy and radiant, churches should strive to live up to his sacrifice, and not take it for granted; when we allow a church to become a den of blame, sin and bitterness, we are dishonoring our Lord and refusing his blessing
  • Christ feeds and cares for the body he loves, just like the husband does for the wife; therefore we should look to him for every need the church has

But back to my main point: The church should be a house of submission.

I don’t mean that we should only submit to Christ, but, as verse 21 says, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Is your church a house of submission? Do its leaders submit to Christ and the Word of God? Does everyone have a spirit of submission with each other?

Submission is one way God wants to pour his grace into our churches and businesses. When we submit, sins are overcome and repentance can do its work.

Submitting makes our churches fertile soil for God’s harvest.